Agricultural Extension Services at Crossroads: present dilemma and possible solutions for future in Uganda
Agricultural extension in Uganda has undergone a number of transformations from regulatory 1920-
1956, advisory 1956-1963, advisory Education 1964-1971, dormancy 1972-1981, recovery 1982-
1999, Educational 1992-1996, participatory education 1997-1998, Decentralized Education 1997-
2001 and now Agricultural services under contract extension systems. Each of those up to 1997-
2001 had strengths to build on and weaknesses to change or improve, but had challenges of the
socio-economic and political environment. In addition there have been marked changes in the
concept of agriculture, which is increasingly seen in terms of commercial or farming for market with
emphasis on modernization of agriculture and use of participatory approaches in the process.
The dilemma is that the majority of the Ugandan farming community is predominately
peasantry/subsistence with a small fraction that can be regarded emergent farmers. Such
population may not respond sustainably to the now farmer owned contract extension system
including changing patterns of donors.
The paper examines a range of issues including training needs, identification of theses needs for
more relevant and responsive curricula, the key role of service provider’s development in creating
learning organizations, developing a strategy for linkages/ learning webs or net works and for more
sustainable donor interventions.